Thursday, May 12, 2011

SHELLCASE: "Dead Memories"

Rating: 6/10

Label: Universal 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Shellcase is according to their press-release a Belgian power-trio that plays 'post-grunge-rock'. Meaning what exactly? No idea really especially since these sort of statements could pretty much include everything post 1996. On the commerical metal scene of today that looks all too likely to be dominated by bands with a reputation for dodgy guitar solos and shouting a lot, these guys are proving that you can do much better with a bit of finess. They do have the aggressive tendency of a frustrated catholic nun at ruler rehab, however, the hail marys are flying across the room alongside the nafty melodies.

'Dead Memories' is (again according to the press-release) a subtle mixture of strenght, energy, and melody, a solid and coherent album that explores the darker side of human behavior. Internal struggles, the longing for freedom, second chances, hope, forgiveness, the purity of love, and all those hidden demons deep inside of us. Yep, pretty much like your average Blackpool night down by the piers, no?

On the one hand they're quite pleasant, a nice little band with decent enough material, and on the other they're bitter as fook. Some of the lyrics, this from "Scars", and I quote: "I'm left with scars, I'm broken, torn apart. This wounded heart will never heal", end quote. Pay extra attention to the word, 'never', as I continue with the following from track eight, "Pain", and I quote again, "You can wipe away the tears, overcome all your fears. You can wash away the stains, but you can't erase the pain", end quote. Again, the key word here: 'can't'. Bitter, bitter, bitter, or simply just the harsh reality of aBelgian power-trio??? You be the judge!!! They obviously have other lyrics and songtitles such as "Faith", "Fucked Up" and "Lobotomy", should provide for an interesting listen. 'Dead Memories' is an album that will stand with some resolve amongst the expected wad (we're not wading through strawberry fields though) of 'post-grunge' rock of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They're pretty good, darn bitter, and probably even better on the follow-up album. Final verdict: solid!


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